bookmarks the whole lot
You probably remember me making my edition of 100 bookmarks for the Booksmarks XIII project by Sarah Bodman. In the meantime my full set with one bookmark for every participating artist reached me.

bookmark melanie alexandrou
bookmark by Melanie Alexandrou
bookmark lesley crawley
bookmark by Lesley Crawley
bookmark Kathleen Furey
bookmark by Kathleen Furey
bookmark sumi perera
bookmark by Sumi Perera

Sarah already mailed us a list of participating venues, which lists places in the UK, USA, and Australia. She said the webpage will be up and live soon. Unfortunately at this moment I don’t have anything to link to. So I decided to just snap some images myself; above you can see some of my favourites, though it was really hard to choose: So many beautiful bookmarks!

with child
“With Child”, by H. Kurzke, paper size A4

And while I am showing off images, I thought I’d also show you the print I made for the competition in Japan. As you might remember, I was fretting out about this one. Well, I still won’t comment too much on it now. It is a print made from 4 different plates, the first is a stamp of a heart, barely visible in the finished print, the second a kitchen litho print with pairs of eyes surounding the main image, third is a lino cut of a female skelleton, and the third a monoprint, where I put the paper onto an inked up plate and then pressed the paper onto the plate with a pencil. Due to the monoprint in the end, each print is quite different from the others. Here is a detail:

with child detail
“with child” by H. Kurzke, detail of print, print size approximately 10cm square

These are of course all old news in a way, but in the past 2 weeks I didn’t get much work done.

[Imagine a photo of a nice English garden party here, please. I was so busy, I failed to take a single photo the whole day.]

Last Saturday, a week ago, we had a big celebration here in our house (or rather the garde) with all our family from Germany invited, and many indeed visiting. In a fit of madness -which I thoughtwas a particularly clever phase until living through the result- I had arranged with my sister to start on a joint, brief vacation on Sunday. Yep, the day right after the celebration. I had everything planned out: A marquee (I keep thinking “tent”, but learned quickly that I shouldn’t say so, unless I want to spread happiness and laughter among our hired personal for the day) was put up on Friday and put down on Sunday early in the morning. I not only hired a caterer to make and serve all the food, I also hired the complete porcelain and cutlery we needed, so that everything would just be taken away and we could leave.

All this indeed worked but was a lot more work and required more effort than I first anticipated. I had made sure that the marquee would be taken down on Sunday at 9 so that we could leave soon, but only on that morning realized that I had to get up really early to take down all decorations before that. And that is just one details where I was completely ignorant of how much work would go into that until I had it on my plate. Already the week before the event I essentially stopped working, and instead went into party-preparation mode. Although food fortuately wasn’t my task anymore, a plethora of things needed to be arranged.

I think despite various things not working out as planned, it was a fairly good party. At least I hope it was. I can hardly remember now, and everything seems to melt to a blur when I think back. After having all family come by on Sunday once more, saying good bye’s for a couple of hours, then packing our suitcases (we thought we would have plenty of time on Sunday morning, and in all fairness, I forgot only a few things which we could easily buy at a Morrisons), I sat down in the car beside DH, kids in the back, excited to go on a beach vacation with their cousins, heaved a big sigh of relief, and felt ready for vacation indeed. Half an our later, I said to M. “I think, my hangover is finally kicking in.” It didn’t occur to me that it could be anything else, and didn’t seem the slightest bit strange to me that I had not felt it in the morning.

When we arrived, I told the same to my sister who was already there. She was surprised “I didn’t think you drank that much yesterday.” “Well, I must have”, I replied. I didn’t count what I drank, but I had a glass in my hand pretty much the whole time, having had a drink with most of our guests. It still seemed perfectly reasonable to me that this was a hangover. I drove with my sister to a supermarket in the next village, by now shaking violently, while picking items from the cooled shelves. When we came home again, I announced that I felt a bit sick by now, to be honest, and needed a little lie-down. I took my temperature, and was surprised to see it raise until very little shy of 40 degrees. I could hardly believe it. I didn’t seem to have any other symptoms: a hangover with fever? – unlikely. Too much stress? – maybe. I took some ibuprofen, went to bed early, and really expected to be all fine in the morning.

Far from it, unfortunately. During the night, as I became more and more aware of a pain and swelling in the throad, it became clear to me that it must be a tonsillitis. Which a nurse who agreed to see me pretty much right away confirmed. She asked whether I maybe have had too much stress recently? – Apparently it was a rather bad case and did look like I have had it for a longer time, apparently without really noticing / showing due to high stress levels.

When is a good time to be sick? My sister and her husband pittied me for getting sick just when I was to go on vacation, but I didn’t feel too bad about that. I guess that is the difference between being self-employed and being eligible to fully paid sick days. Anyway, I was aware of my body telling me to take it more slowly, – but how?

I was determined to get better soon. The rest of the family went to the beach and tossed in two bottles for me and my project message in a bottle while I stayed a day in bed.

On Wednesday I was feeling well enough to go to the beach myself, free of fever thanks to ibuprofen (and no additional paracetamol which I took, too the past 2 days), and I was beginning to feel much better. The weather was beautiful, too, and we spent the day at the beach and I tossed in some bottles, too, that day. I hope they will have a good journey!

And the next day we already drove back, the first day I was without fever without medication. Now I try to take it a bit more slowly, but it’s not easy. Being in the studio to get work done is actually the most relaxing I can do at the moment. But I have been sick too many times in a row now, I really should find a way to wind down a little. It is surprisingly hard to do, since the moment I step out of my room, I have two (heavy by now) children literally clinging on to me, asking me to do this and that. When I lie down, I have two kids jumping around on me. But they have been surprisingly tender and caring while I had a fever. They kept feeling my head for temperature, remarking acurately “you are very hot”, “you are warm, but not as much as yesterday”, … it was really heart warming. On Friday they had their graduation ceremony from preschool, a little more than a week and they will go to school. I am rather proud of how far they have come!

4 replies on “Bookmarks”

  1. Nice print! Glad to hear that you are feeling a bit better. And congratulations on the children starting school next week. I hope that will give you a little more restful time in the studio. ; ]

    1. Thanks!
      I don’t know yet how the children attending school will effect my productivity. While I will have more time on a given day, the studio days will be fewer since there are school holidays. We’ll see. But I do hope it will allow for more time intensive work again, where I can start things without knowing that after 2 hours max I have to be at a point where I can stop for a day or two.

      1. Hope it works out as at least being reliable and predictable. Sometimes just knowing that you really have a particular couple of hours to yourself can be useful!

        1. Yes, that’s true. I have that now, of course, with them already attending pre-school. I am mainly hoping that the fact that I have more hours on a normal work-day (school lasts more hours than pre-school) will help with projects that cannot easily be cut down to small defined tasks. And I am looking forward to at least the Sunday being a day for the whole family to be together. I had hoped to arrange for the Sunday as a family day when they first started pre-school but soon realized I needed the whole weekend for longer streches of uninterrupted time, to get essential work done. I hope this time it will really work…

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